The International News Breaking Samuel Rodriguez's Heart

(Samuel Rodriguez/Instagram)

 As Hurricane Maria bears down on the island of Puerto Rico, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, in partnership with Convoy of Hope, readies to deploy "significant" personnel and resources on the ground to those in need immediately following Hurricane Maria.

"My heart breaks for Puerto Rico," says NHCLC President and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and who is himself of Puerto Rican descent. "It's been over 80 years since a storm of this size and magnitude has hit the island, while some say this could be the strongest ever recorded. We want our friends, partner churches and family members on the island to know that they are not alone. The NHCLC stands ready to mobilize our U.S. churches and to deploy significant, immediate assistance to the people of Puerto Rico. We are monitoring the situation carefully and staying in close contact with our partners on the ground. As soon as the weather permits, we will be there."

The NHCLC's local Puerto Rico chapter is led by Dr. William Hernandez, Rev. Israel Bermudez as well as others including FRAPE (a local clergy association that works closely with the NHCLC) and Iglesia de Dios M I. The NHCLC will coordinate with local chapter leadership to assist Convoy of Hope in allocating resources as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"This hurricane is classified as the largest atmospheric phenomenon that has passed through Puerto Rico," says Rev. Israel Bermudez. "But the greatest of all is in the heavens, and He controls the winds, and in Him is our hope. Thank you for your prayers and help."

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"Convoy of Hope, in partnership with NHCLC, has been feeding thousands in the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma," says Hal Donaldson, president and co-founder of Convoy of Hope. "We have food and supplies in the region and are in contact with partners in Puerto Rico. We continue to pray and are poised to respond as needed."

Additionally, at the time of this writing, news reports indicate that over 200 deaths have been confirmed in Mexico City and affected areas following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter only 75 miles away from one of the most densely populated metropolitan centers in the world. Most expect the death toll to continue to rise.

"The situation in Mexico City is extremely troubling," adds Rev. Rodriguez. "We are praying for the people of Mexico City and are quickly assessing the next steps with our humanitarian partners there as well. Between Puerto Rico and Mexico City, this has been a difficult and heartbreaking 48 hours. It's imperative that those of us in the U.S. and around the world do our part to help the victims of both tragedies. The NHCLC is committed to bringing tangible help to both regions."

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